October 24, 2008
At Ostrog Monastary last night I ate a grape from a vine at Upper Cave Church. Prior to trekking up, I’d heard women pilgrimaged here to eat the grapes which are supposed to bring fertility. On seeing the vine, I nearly believed it. If ever there were a magic grapevine, this was it.
Ostrog is a major Balkan pilgrimage site in Montenegro because of St Basil. Things got interesting after the (already very good, very devout) Basil died in 1671. His body had not decomposed after eight days and a grapevine began to grow above Upper Cave Church, at far too high an altitude. People with various maladies began to miraculously heal. Apparently St Basil’s body remains under a shroud in Lower Cave Church.